News Article
NEPSAC Presents Awards at Spring Summit

4/15/22

On Tuesday, April 12, 2022, NEPSAC presented its annual awards at the Spring Summit held at Phillips Andover Academy. The Martin Williams Souders Memorial Award is named for NEPSAC’s first president and honors a graduate of a New England independent school who made a distinguished record in sports and who has since made a distinguished record in life through high ideals, leadership and accomplishments. The Distinguished Service Award is given to an individual who has contributed significantly to New England Independent School Athletics and Physical Education through enthusiasm, dedication, leadership and vision.

The 2021 Souders Award was given posthumously to Travis Roy, and accepted by his parents, Lee and Brenda Roy.

Travis Roy was born on April 17, 1975, in Yarmouth, Maine. Travis attended North Yarmouth Academy and graduated from Tabor Academy. Eleven seconds into his first shift as a hockey player at Boston University, October 20, 1995, Travis hit the boards and shattered his fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae, paralyzing him from the neck down at the age of 20. 

The accident made headlines, but it was the work Travis achieved after his setback that defined his legacy. In 1996, Travis and his family established the Travis Roy Foundation, with a mission to raise awareness, fund scientific research related to spinal cord injuries and to improve the quality of life of those with spinal cord injuries. This was the largest spinal cord injury charity program of its kind in the country. Travis’ intelligence, warmth and compassion guided the Foundation into a position of leadership and impact. Over $20 million has been raised for research and for grants to thousands of individuals and their families dealing with the challenges of paralysis after a spinal cord injury. The Foundation has awarded more than $5.6 million in research grants dedicated towards finding a cure for spinal cord paralysis.

In addition to his Foundation work, Travis also found time to be an impactful member of the Board of Trustees at Tabor Academy as well as close friend to many.

“Sometimes in life you choose your challenges, other times the challenges choose you,” Travis would say, “And it’s what you do in the face of those challenges that defines who you are and what you’ll become.”

NEPSAC presented its 2021 Distinguished Service Award to Lizanne “Tiz” Sutherland Mulligan, former Westover School athletic director, Kent School coach, and long-time NEPSAC board member. 

Tiz Mulligan’s athletic and coaching career spans years of tremendous change in girls’ athletics. As a student at Kent, Tiz took advantage of these new opportunities, and throughout her career as a coach at Kent and as a coach and Director of Athletics at Westover School, she has worked to create new opportunities for girls and women.

In the fall of 1973 Tiz was among the first group of girls to row at Kent, and among the first female rowers to represent Kent at the Head of the Charles. She was the high scorer and second highest rebounder on the basketball team in her fifth form year, and as captain and co-MVP in her sixth form year, she set a season-scoring record and led the team to a 14-1 season, the most wins any Kent girls basketball team had achieved. A three-letter winner in softball, Tiz was a pitcher and was captain and MVP in her senior year, leading the team to another winning season. As a student, she challenged the administration to improve the competitiveness of the girls’ programs.

Tiz returned to Kent in 1980, coaching field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. In an effort to broaden athletic opportunities, she helped found the Western New England Preparatory School Girls Basketball Association. In 1983 she and co-coach Robin Walcott led the field hockey team on a trip to England and Holland, the first Kent girls’ team to compete overseas. She coached the lacrosse team to a program highest fourth-place finish in New England. She again found herself continually advocating for the girls’ programs to improve most of all opportunities but also equipment, uniforms, facilities and services.

After joining Westover School, she started competitive programs in cross country (which won a NE Championship), swimming, and golf, and established a rowing program. In her final season, the program had grown to race two competitive fours and a novice boat. She guided a beginner squash program to become highly regarded in New England and nationally. She oversaw the growth in competitiveness of the basketball program, as they competed in a handful of New England tournaments and boasted a 2,000-point scorer.

In addition to her responsibilities as Director of Athletics, Tiz coached varsity field hockey, squash, varsity lacrosse and rowing. She served as Secretary/Treasurer, VP and President of District IV. While president, she encouraged other women to become involved in the leadership process as well as creating a mentorship program for new ADs. As VP, she began her tenure on the NEPSAC Executive Board and after serving as the District IV representative while President, she moved to become the Co-Director of Championships, a position she held until 2020.

Due to COVID, NEPSAC was forced to cancel its 2020 meeting and thus postponed that awards ceremony until this year. The 2020 Souders Award winner was Commander Rebecca Dowling Calder, USNR.

A 1994 graduate of Phillips Academy, Becky Dowling Calder stands out as one of the most decorated student-athletes over her four-year career at Andover as well as the United States Naval Academy.  A twelve-season varsity letter winner (soccer, basketball, track and softball) at P.A., Calder captained all three teams during her senior year. She was central to Andover’s basketball team winning four consecutive New England titles and well as the Class A soccer championship in the fall of 1993.  In 2008, Calder was inducted into Phillips Academy’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Honor class alongside Andover alumni and former Souders Award winners, George H.W. Bush ’42 and Fred Harrison ’38, 

Following Andover, Calder enrolled at the US Naval Academy where she led its basketball team to establish a school record of 80 wins across a four-year career.  At the US Naval Academy, she was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year, was a two-time captain and two-time MVP during her junior and senior years.

In 2004, Calder was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Honor.  In 2014, she became the first Navy women’s basketball player to have her jersey retired alongside the jersey of David Robinson.  She made history by becoming the first female pilot to graduate from the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School, commonly known as Top Gun. Calder was an active duty pilot for 14 years - serving aboard the aircraft carriers USS George Washington during Operation Enduring Freedom and USS Harry Truman in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In all, she amassed 2,500 flight hours and made 421 arrested landings, 185 of which occurred at night.

Calder has spent the last three years living in Iwakuni, Japan where her partner, US Navy captain Adrian Calder, remained on active duty.  She has served in the reserves for the last 23 years and is currently assigned to the Naval Operation Support Center, Guam. Earlier this winter, the Calders relocated, with their two children, Tyler and Charlotte, to Reno NV.

David Godin, a former athletic director at Suffield Academy, was presented with the 2020 Distinguished Service Award.         

Godin has spent more than four decades at Suffield Academy, with a quarter of that time devoted as athletic director. He served on NEPSAC’s Executive Board from 2003-2012, culminating with his elevation to District IV president (2007-2009) and Board president (2010-2012). During his time on the board, Godin, who was head basketball coach at Suffield for 19 years and whose Tigers won the 1993 New England Class B title, was elected as the inaugural president (1998-2000) of the New England Prep School Men’s Basketball Association and returned to that post again from 2006-2008. And at one point or another, served as treasurer of the association for a total of eight years.   

While at Suffield, he coached all three levels of basketball, assisted in varsity and junior varsity football, assisted in varsity lacrosse and was a head coach of junior varsity lacrosse. In addition, he was an NCAA Division 1 lacrosse official for 14 years.

Godin’s service to NEPSAC included spearheading a complete rearrangement of the boys’ basketball and hockey tournaments. NEPSAC decided to undertake the reclassification in 2008 and the task fell to the committee that he chaired. 

Described by his peers as hard working and well-respected, Dave’s most important contribution to NEPSAC may well be his unswerving commitment to balancing the scholar and the athlete and making sure both thrived in the prep school environment.

Please view a gallery from the Spring Summit here.
Photo Credits: David Fricke

Please view the event program here.